A fascinating region with a thousand facets.
Friuli is pure frontier. For the Central European atmosphere of Trieste with its square open to the sea, the largest in Europe and the castle of Miraramare with its legend. Or for those of taste with the wines and hams of San Daniele, for Gorizia, still leads to the east, for Udine and its architecture, and the works of Tiepolo, born Venetian and exploded here. And for the Karst and its caves, a true natural monument.
Friuli Venezia Giulia is the Italian region located in the north east of the country. Its geographical location is particular and has placed it on the border with different civilizations. These territories have always been a meeting place between peoples of different cultures: Latin, German and Slavic.
The long history of Friuli is the testimony of the integration and the capacity for dialogue of people. And even geography approaches the extremes, in little space you can go from the beaches to the snowy peaks.
Friuli is the region of Italy that is located in the far north east and borders Austria and Slovenia. The northernmost part of the regional territory is bounded by the Adriatic Sea. The northern part is mainly characterized by the presence of a mountainous terrain. The mountains are crossed by valleys in correspondence of water streams such as the Fella and the Tagliamento.
To the south of the mountainous area lies the hilly one that also continues in the central part on the border with Slovenia. The coast is generally low and sandy. Here are some famous seaside resorts such as Lignano Sabbiadoro and Grado. The capital of the region is Trieste, a crossroads of different cultural influences. Other important towns in the region are also those of Udine, Gorizia and Pordenone.
What to see and do in Friuli: the main cities
Friuli Venezia Giulia is a region that has much to offer its visitors, starting with some important cities. Trieste is the regional capital and is a fascinating city to discover. Its heart is represented by the Piazza Unità d’Italia which is the largest square in Europe. Along the coastal road you reach the Miramare Castle from which you can admire a wonderful view of the city of Trieste.
This delightful castle wanted by Maximilian of Hapsburg was frequented by the crowned heads of half Europe until the archduke’s wife, Charlotte of Belgium ended her days in a mental illness. Another important center of the region is Gorizia which has had a particularly troubled history. Until the First World War it was part of the Habsburg Empire, then it was divided between Italy and Slovenia. A town with an ancient history is Pordenone that dates back to Roman times. In fact it was already known in the fifth century A.C. .
Among the many things to see in Gorizia is the Cathedral built in Gothic style around 1400. Udine, another important centre of the region, is also very interesting. Its historical centre develops around the castle. This is the city of Tiepolo and preserves a large number of works by the famous eighteenth-century painter.
Friuli: beaches and mountains
The region offers both seaside and mountain resorts. As for the coast, one of the most popular places for tourists from all over the world is Lignano Sabbiadoro. awarded with the blue flag this seaside town is ideal for a relaxing holiday by the sea. Another popular seaside resort is Grado, which is located between the sea and the lagoon and is connected to the mainland by a thin strip of land.
In addition to golden beaches and crystal clear waters the city also has a rich historical and artistic heritage. As for the mountains in the region there are the Julian Alps that present beautiful natural landscapes. In the territory of the municipality of Tarvisio there are interesting glacial lakes. These are the lakes of Fusine which are considered one of the most beautiful examples of Alpine lake.
Friuli: discover the traditional cuisine of the region
The traditional Friulian cuisine is based on the use of simple and genuine ingredients. A constant feature of Friuli recipes is the preparation of soups and soups. One of the most popular is made with sauerkraut, potatoes, sausage and bacon. Very interesting also the broth that contains crustaceans and small fish.
As for fish, one of the most well-known dishes is the busara, which is a dish of shrimps with pepper, breadcrumbs and tomatoes. In the hinterland is mainly served meat flavored with spices and accompanied by the inevitable polenta. These are hares, wild boar, deer and game. Another Friulian dish that can not miss at the table are the gnocchi that are prepared in many variations.
Due to the geographical location of the region, traditional cuisine has been influenced by different cultures. A popular dish is goulash, a traditional Hungarian specialty. Finally, one of the most famous typical products of Friuli is undoubtedly the San Daniele ham.
The Friulian wine tradition has its roots in history. The tocai, today simply called Friulian, the picolitt, the vitovska give rise to sublime whites, like yellow and greenish ribolla that have been imported only for some centuries. For reds, seek the refosco from the red peduncle, the errano and the schioppettino, but always remember to drink responsibly.
The history of Friuli
Friuli Venezia Giulia has a long history that has always been conditioned by its particular geographical position. In fact, it is the gateway to Italy for those coming from the east, here three important port cities have flourished, such as Aquileia and Trieste. The boundaries of the regional territory are historical rather than geographical.
The western border has been well defined for over two centuries and extends along the Piave Valley and the course of Livenza. While as for the eastern part there were always many uncertainties. This is due to the fact that the geographical, ethnic, political, military and socio-economic boundaries historically do not find a coincidence. The historical-political and cultural entity of Friuli was born in the Lombard era. As for the formation of the language of this region there are several theories.
The first one believes that it derives from the Roman colonists who occupied these territories and therefore would date back to over 2000 years ago. Another theory, however, believes it was born over a thousand years later following the isolation from Italy imposed by the Patriarchate. This obtained the concession of the Friulian territories in 1077 by Henry IV. The independence of Friuli ends because of Venice. In 1506 when the Habsburg Empire conquered the eastern part of Friuli while the western area remains in Venice.
With the Treaty of Vienna of 1815 the region was annexed to the Lombard Kingdom of Veneto. The current shape of the region was assumed in 1947 following the annexation of Friuli to Italy. It is this blend of cultures that makes Friuli Venezia Giulia the unique place we know today.